|Title||2018 New Year's Message from President|
2018 New Year’s Message from President
2018 New Year’s Message from President
New Year’s greetings to all IBS members as we step into a promising New Year.
This year is all the more meaningful as we are looking into a fresh new start of IBS. The new IBS headquarters located in the EXPO Science Park is up and ready. We now can move into our new home leaving behind six years of stay in KT 2 Center at Jeonmin-dong.
With your dedication and support, the construction was successfully completed and HQ Research Centers and admin staff will move into the new buildings within two weeks. IBS researchers carrying out their research in different locations can now come together for concerted efforts. The new buildings were constructed to foster communication and will allow scientists to produce outstanding ideas and outcomes when filled with research equipment and experimental facilities.
“We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us” said Winston Churchill in 1943, promising the reconstruction of the Houses of Parliament. The quote explains why buildings matter to us. The new HQ will have an impact on how we conduct research, work, and relate to each other while we establish our culture.
The buildings are anything but a pile of neatly stacked bricks. As our new home is much more than that, we need to fill it not just with laboratories and amenities, but also with outstanding Centers and support teams. Those spaces created and equipped by each and every one of us, will be the root of inspiration and motivation.
My fellow IBS members, EXPO Science Park, the site that the new HQ is located, was established 25 years ago when Daejeon organized the Daejeon International Exposition to put itself on the map as the city of science. All members of IBS should be proud and feel responsible that we are leading the future of science at a historic landmark. The theme of the EXPO, “The Road to a New Leap” still applies and IBS will embrace it.
Ever since the Institute was founded, we have seen three administrations and three overseeing Ministries. In the face of such changes, IBS upheld its philosophy to attract global talent by establishing itself as the nation’s basic science hub and to give researchers full autonomy. Taking this opportunity, I want to thank scientists, public officials, and IBS employees who have contributed in making this philosophy a reality. The new administration, especially, has shown a great support for science and researchers heading into uncharted territory. We believe our ambition will continue with encouragement from the government.
My fellow IBS researchers, as we head into the New Year, I want to show my gratitude to Centers’ directors and researchers for their great accomplishments. Within a short period of time, you launched world-leading Centers and produced admirable outcomes. The Institute’s international presence has grown significantly for the last six years and it would not have been possible without your dedication.
Last year, the scientific journal Nature had special coverage entitled Nature Index 2017 Science Cities and did a cover story on IBS. The story described how IBS is a symbolic institute which shows that Korea’s research policy is shifting from economic growth to basic science and with the Institute’s growing influence, the domestic center of basic science is moving from Seoul to Daejeon. The article is an indicator that IBS is shaping the nation’s scientific landscape. Building on such reputation, we will always support researchers to push ahead with our ambition to lead the development of basic science in Korea.
Last year, nine Centers received their first Center Review. 66 review panel members, including 37 overseas scientists, conducted the Review for eight months through a three-step process which included document evaluation, and on-site and comprehensive reviews.
It is noteworthy that we are the first to carry out a qualitative review of basic science research. Our peer review process, which favors quality over quantity, will encourage others to follow suit. It is also promising that respected researchers recognized the global excellence of all nine Centers. Some of them were even reviewed to hold research capacity greater than other global research groups.
Our Centers were well-received and there followed constructive criticism for them to carry out more group research, strengthen inter-Center cooperation, and nurture female scientists.
My fellow IBS members, for the 1st Five-year Plan for 2013 to 2017, we aimed to make IBS the nation’s basic science hub. The goal was met with recognition from home and abroad. In addition to gradually increasing our research impact, we are taking a greater role in working at the frontier of basic science.
To list some tangible results, our Category Normalized Citation Impact reached 1.81, 4.7% of IBS published papers ranked in the top 1% by citations and 22.09% of papers came in the top 10% most cited. These results are even higher compared to Germany’s renowned Max Planck Society, Japan’s RIKEN, or Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science. An impressive number of directors have also been honored with prestigious awards and joined influential science communities.
In addition to our seasoned researchers, young researchers are given opportunity to conduct their own independent research through the Young Scientist Fellowship. A series of IBS Conferences have contributed to research communities by providing a venue for international scientists and domestic researchers to exchange their ideas and knowledge.
Now we are preparing ourselves for the next five years. Our target for the 2nd Five-year Plan is to become a world-renowned research institute. When we achieve the target, we should be able to become an institute that shapes global basic science paradigm by 2023. To achieve our dream, IBS will show what true team science looks like by reinforcing our group research system. Adventurous choices that only we can take, will earn us a higher return. The Institute will also expand HQ Centers and diversify types of Centers to allow young scientists to unlock their full potential.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to tell all researchers that here at IBS we welcome those who ask unorthodox questions, enjoy adventures, and push the boundaries and limitations of knowledge. We also plan to pursue further openness and flexibility to allow talented researchers to come, grow, and go on a greater journey which will, in turn, broaden the national basic science ecosystem.
The Rare Isotope Science Project received an unheard of level of basic science investment and has moved from the R&D phase to the establishment phase. The recent superconducting accelerator test result for oxygen ion beam showed great potential. Korean people and the government invested a large sum in basic research. We have to live up to their expectations and contribute to the progress of science and humanity by setting up and utilizing prominent equipment and facilities. We will also work to nurture research groups which can take full advantage of the accelerator.
A big portion of the government provided budget is used to operate our Centers. We should always feel a great sense of responsibility for the support and venture beyond limitations. I will stand by your side at the frontier of upcoming challenges and take my share of responsibility.
My fellow IBS members, this year marks the first year for IBS to reaffirm its mission as a global institute at the new HQ. IBS can become an excellent workplace when management and employees or researchers, admin and engineering staff share their hopes and inspiration. I expect to witness IBS taking a big leap forward, rising against all odds.
I wish all of you a very happy New Year.
January 2, 2018
KIM Doochul, President of the Institute for Basic Science